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Unfortunately, all these factors can make the game tad a bit overwhelming for newcomers. However, getting the hang of these unique mechanics can make Brawlhalla just as much a tactical fighting game as it is a fun brawler.
10 Combat Is All About Taking Control
Players fond of fighting games know that the character who makes the best combos and counters wins a match. However, excellent fighting gamers know that combat is all about exchanging control, one where a fighter tries to land an attack, and the other fighter responds. Therefore, it"s taking control of the combat that decides the victor. In Brawlhalla, this much remains the same and especially more so given the fast-paced, chaotic nature of battles.
Players need to keep an eye on how to dictate the terms of combat as often as possible. Enemies should be reacting to them, and not the other way. Players can do this by assuming control, breaking the enemy"s combos, stopping their flow with throws, dodging their attacks, and catching them off-guard.
As a platformer brawler, Brawlhalla relies on pitting players in huge sets of platforms that punish them for getting thrown out. Thing is, Legends can"t exactly stay still either, as enemies will see them as free targets. As such, Legends need to move around to hit foes and avoid getting hit at the same time.
However, players shouldn"t panic and just move willy-nilly. Rather, players should try to learn Brawlhalla"s stage mechanics with their favorite Legends in mind. Players should learn how to make precise moves depending on how their Legends run, dash, jump, and climb around the stage. Remember, adapting to fast-paced movement can help Legends land hits more accurately.
Anyone who"s touched a fighting game knows that combos define a character. This leads to the Scorpion"s Spears (Mortal Kombat) and Ken" Shoryukens (Street Fighter), after all. However, experts in fighting games know that simple movement and attack patterns alone can determine a character"s playstyle. In Brawlhalla, mastering Light Attacks can make a Legend just as lethal — even if they don"t use their Signature Moves (Sigs).
Granted, Light Attacks don"t deal as much damage as Signature Attacks. However, Light Attacks happen much faster and string well into combos. As with Sigs, Light Attacks come in the form of Neutral (standing), Side (forward), and Down (downward) Light Attacks - all of which can weave into remarkable combos. A Legend who knows their Light Attacks well can punish enemies who miss their Signatures or defeat them fast enough they can"t use them at all.
Each Legend in Brawlhalla can use two Weapon types, each with separate combos and Legend-unique Signature Moves. While Sigs are powerful, they tend to require a build-up, meaning they"re at risk of being interruptible and can spell danger to players.
Aside from knowing how to perform the Sigs, players need to familiarize themselves with the Weapon combos of Legends they love to use. These combos will become the bread and butter of each Legend"s playstyle and overall theme. For instance, the samurai Jiro can use a Sword and a Bow, making him ideal for short-range and long-range incursions.
Since a match alternates the appearance of Weapons, players can"t play favorites and adjust to the playstyle of whatever weapon they have.
While Brawlhalla is a brawler game, its unique weapon and skill system does take a lot of elements from fighting games. And like in fighting games, dodging remains a key component in dominating combat. Sadly, players often ignore the dodge in favor of Signature Moves but their enemies can simply dodge their Signatures and punish them hard for it.
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Instead, players should optimize the use of their dodge ability. Players should train in the best way to dodge both enemy light attacks and Signatures. Additionally, a timed mid-air dodge will let players use a Signature right after without any need to recover from the jump on the ground. Additionally, a dodge can be used to make a ground dash perfect for Signature setups.
As with other fighting games, dashing forwards and backwards in Brawlhalla can help Legends quickly engage and disengage from opponents. In fact, players who capitalize on dashing can get out of sticky situations quickly and outmaneuver opponents who are very distance-reliant. For instance, dashing backwards can avoid short to mid-range Sigs, while dashing inwards can break a Sig"s opening animation.
Moreover, dashing can help offensively as well. Players can use dashing to quickly start combos or cancel them if needed. Likewise, players can dash to stop combos mid-attack and switch to a new attack rotation as needed.
Similar to other platformers, Brawlhalla prioritizes jumping as a game mechanic. Aside from jumping to perform or dodge attacks, Legends can jump off ledges to wall-climb, or even transfer from one platform to the next. In Brawlhalla, players have two jumps - allowing them to perform a second jump in mid-air. Likewise, holding the down button in mid-air initiates fast fall, accelerating the falling process.
Players can maximize these when dodging mid-air attacks, or when performing setups. Instead of panicking while jumping, players can use jumping tactically to chase opponents or even ruin enemy combos.
Remember, Weapons in Brawlhalla drop randomly throughout the match, and Legends alternate between their personal armaments whenever they pick these up. Of course, players can stick to one Weapon throughout the match, or switch up their playstyle by dropping their current gear and picking a new one. However, players have a third option: throw their current Weapon.
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Interestingly, this isn"t a waste of damage potential, either. Aside from making room for a Weapon change, hitting an enemy with a Throw can momentarily stun them. Moreover, the current thrown Weapon will drop to the ground after being thrown. Theoretically, players can throw a Weapon, dash and pick it back, and start an attack chain. Some players even throw their Weapons to opponents in mid-air to prevent them from recovering and forcing a knockout.
Since getting knocked off brings players closer to losing, it makes sense for them to panic when outside a platform. However, it"s interesting to note that it"s theoretically possible to get back to the stage regardless of how far players get knocked off. It"s all a matter of timing jumps, dashes, and any mobility skills at the Legend"s disposal.
A Legend can maximize their jump height with the right timing per jump. Likewise, neutral dodges combined with certain skills or combos can make attacks that launch characters back to the platform which can make for a very annoying character in the eyes of a struggling opponent.
In tournament play, players might be surprised that gamers actually change the keybind and control settings of buttons before a match. This doesn"t mean they"re cheating. Rather, they"re optimizing their setup to give them the best way of executing their combos and moveset.
In Brawlhalla, players don"t need to settle for the game"s default layout. If possible, players should find a way to adjust their keybinds to help them execute combos and movements much more efficiently. More importantly, players should settle for a keybind setup that helps them register their desired movements the fastest — be it combos, recoveries, or Signatures.
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